LONDON -- Friday's fall on Wall Street meant the U.K. got off to a bad start, but by the end of the session the London markets had managed to claw their way back to end roughly unchanged.
closed up 2.9 points, or 0.1%, at 6,381.30, while the
was virtually unchanged at 3,752.01. However, it was an unimpressive low-volume start to the week and it's hard to read too much into today's movements.
Telecom stocks suffered early on as negativity swept the sector following a slump in the price of
. The German leviathan fell heavily on fears that it will run into regulatory problems over its takeover of the
. There are also some concerns that at $50.7 billion Deutsche Telekom may be paying too much for its target. Deutsche Telekom tanked 5.87 euros, or 10.6%, to 49.40 ($46.27).
, which is increasingly starting to look like a stock that few want in their portfolios, closed 8p lower, or 0.9%, at 890 ($13.44). Footsie heavyweight
also started the day under the cosh, despite several buy recommendations from brokers. But news that Holland's auction for third-generation mobile telephone licenses had cost telecom companies considerably less than originally forecast provided enough of a fillip to help the stock close up 6p, or 2.0%, at 302.
also continued its recent good run after announcing a deal, said by the company to be worth around
2 billion, to build a fiber-optic network for British Telecom. Marconi closed 49p higher, or 5.0%, at
all remained firmly down in the dumps. In percentage terms, Telewest was the main index's biggest faller, its cause not helped by a downgrade from HSBC. The stock closed down 12p, or 5.1%, at 223, while C&W eased 44p, or 3.3% to
12.81 and Colt shed 35p, or 1.4%, to
Speculation continued about what will be the eventual outcome of the decision last week by media companies
United News & Media
to call off their proposed merger because of regulatory problems.
is viewed as the most likely predator with United Media as its prey. Granada finished down 11p, or 1.8%, at 602, United closed 32p higher, or 3.3%, at 990, while Carlton finished 2p lower, or 0.3%, at 800.
Europe's other major stock markets closed mixed, with the
in Paris closing up 38.5, or 0.6%, at 6,502.6. Late in the German trading session, the
in Frankfurt was down 42.6, or 0.6%, at 7,330.7 and the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was 6.6 higher, or 0.1%, at 6,255.8.
closed up 4.00 euros to 146.50 and
climbed 0.25 euros to 24.76.
Finnish telco outfit
slumped 6.70 euros, or 13%, to 44.90 after announcing disappointing first-half results and issuing a gloomy outlook for the rest of the year.
In Frankfurt, software maker
rose 5.38 euros, or 2.2%, to 253.00, but
dropped 1.70 euros, or 2.8%, to 57.36 amid concerns about the carmaker's upcoming second-quarter figures.
fell 3.40 euros, or 5%, to 64.80 after announcing it would take over
, that country's largest bank. The merged bank will be a major player in Eastern Europe. Bank Austria shares trading in Frankfurt were up 5.80 euros, or 10.6%, at 60.80.